SUMMARY WRITING TIPS
A summary is a selection of main ideas. Summarizing
reduces and rewords information providing an overview of the subject and also
fostering close analysis of it. It does not leave out any important part of the
main ideas, nor does it include any of the examples or illustrations. It is
stated in the student’s own language, not the language of the original, though,
of course, certain key terms must be repeated.
The summary of a narrative or drama
is usually called a plot summary. A plot summary may be sequential or
- A sequential plot summary follows the order in which a
narrative or drama presents its main events.
- A comprehensive plot summary starts with an overall statement
about the chief action of the narrative or drama and then gives the chain
of events that make up that action. While a sequential plot summary recounts
one event after another without saying which is the most important, a
comprehensive plot summary identifies the central action to which all
other actions must be referred.
The essence of summary is conciseness, objectivity,
and completeness: you state in as few
words as possible the main thrust of a passage. When you need to summarize a
few paragraphs or a brief article, your summary should be no longer than
one-fifth the length of the original passage.
writing your summary eliminate repetition and relatively minor points, provide
transition. The final version should be a unified and coherent whole.